NIGEL WORTHINGTON is demanding new levels of concentration from his players following another late goal that scuppered his York City side.
The Minstermen manager was disappointed after his men conceded their third last minute goal in a week to drop another two points in a 1-1 draw with Northampton Town at Bootham Crescent in Sky Bet League Two.
Marc Richards’ free-kick follows a 94th minute equaliser for Tranmere last weekend in the league and a 91st minute winner for Doncaster in the League Cup on Tuesday night.
Worthington said his team’s late lapses were “not right”.
“You can live with a goal, or an equaliser, in the last two minutes once,” he explained. “It’s hard to take a second time. But three times in a week, it’s not right.
“We need to look at the concentration.
“Performance wise, positive thinking and attitude, I can’t fault the players. Their performance level over the first three games has been exceptional.
“But, for me, we didn’t pass the ball as we can do. We were a little bit rash, a little bit hurried and there is no need for that.”
Worthington also believes City must start to score more goals.
He said: “We had three chances in the first 15 minutes and we have got to take them. If you don’t take chances then you are always likely to suffer what has happened in the last three games.
“It is the same in all of them. We have had the chances and we are not taking them. We have got to, by hook or by crook, become more focused and determined to get that ball in the back of the net.
“You have got to keep a calm head, a cool head and make the opposition pay with your passing. There were some rash clearances where it was going straight to Northampton.
“If you do that, the ball keeps coming back at you. The free-kick is never a free-kick but the referee has given it so you have got to deal with it and we didn’t deal with it as we should have done.
“It has been a tough week - three goals against in the last three minutes of the game. We’ve another big game on Tuesday night at home (to Cambridge) and we have got to get ready for that.”
Asked whether his players looked nervous in the closing minutes of matches, Worthington said: “That comes from the individual. They have got to have the awareness, the calmness and the coolness to deal with it. That’s part and parcel of football.
“You are annoyed. The assistant referee put the four minutes up straight after they scored. It is a case of managing the game. From ten to 12 minutes (remaining) we were doing that quite nicely. Then there was a little bit of not panic but we were dismissing the ball far too easily and not under an awful lot of pressure.
“That’s something we have got to be aware of and deal with better.”
City have been drawn at League One Barnsley in the opening round of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy. The tie will take place at Oakwell in the week beginning September 1.